To see the collection of previous articles go to the Fly of the Month Archives

Fly of the Month 2011

December 2011

Gold Ribbed Hares Ear Revisited

Submitted by Bart Lombardo

This month I decided to revisit an old classic, The Gold Ribbed Hare’s Ear. This pattern is arguably one of the most effect nymph patterns developed. This is how I am tying this pattern these days, making subtle material changes to take advantage of new materials that were not available when the original pattern was fist developed.

This fly sinks like a stone and the dubbing takes on translucent properties when wet. In dirty water conditions I have been known to add a hot spot of bright orange thread at the base of the tail or right behind the bead. Just a couple wraps of Datam GloBrite will do the trick.

With all the new patterns being developed on an almost daily basis, it pays to revisit the classics once and a while.

October Caddis Recipe:

Hook: TMC 100SP-BL size 18-12
Bead: Black Tungsten Bead sized to hook
Bead: Gold or copper tungsten to match hook size
Weight: Lead wire to match hook size
Thread: Brown Danville Flymaster 6/0
Tail: Speckled hen
Rib: Fine gold tinsel (gold wire on the hooks smaller than 16)
Abdomen: Synthetic/Natural Light Hare’s Ear Dubbing ( I like Arizona Synthetic Dubbing #03). Feel free to use natural but the addition of synthetic fibers gives the fly a bit of sparkle.
Thorax: Synthetic/Natural Dark Hare’s Ear Dubbing (Arizona Synthetic Dubbing #04) again feel free to use an all natural product
Wing Case: Brown thin skin topped with a strip of pearl mylar, coated with epoxy (I use a UV cured product topped with clear nail polish)
Legs: Speckled hen

October 2011

October Caddis Wet

Submitted by Lou DiGena

Leaves are starting to turn, there is a crispness in the air and the last of the big bugs are due to pop.

It's fall and it's October caddis time.  Here is a weighted wet fly patten that I use during the fall.  It's a great addition to your Euro-nymph rig or fished alone. Make sure you swing the fly at the end of the drift and hold on.

October Caddis Recipe:

Hook: Standard Wet Fly Hook #8 - 12 (Mustad S80-3906 or similar)
Bead: Black Tungsten Bead sized to hook
Thread: Brown 6/0 or 8/0
Rib: Red and Gold wire (.32 gauge Parawire or UTC Size BR)
Abdomen: Equal parts, Hareline Ice Dub Orange, Tan UV Ice Dub, and Hareline Rabbit Dubbin HD15 (Hand blended)
Thorax: Hairline Ice Dub Peacock
Legs: Hungarian Partridge

September 2011

The End Of the Rainbow

Submitted by Bart Lombardo

This simple pattern has proven deadly of rainbow trout.  After years of this fishing this pattern it has caught nothing but rainbow trout.  No browns, no brookies only rainbows and quite a few at that.

Caught on the End of the Rainbow


Hook: Standard Nymph size 12-16
Bead: Tungsten
Thread: Grey 6/0 uni
Body:  Tapered body of gray uni-stretch, gray floss or gray thread
Rib: Small gold wire
Thorax:  UV pink ice-dub

June 2011

Golden Stonefly Nymph

Submitted by Bart Lombardo

This pattern has been particularly effective over the last few weeks. Many of our local streams have seen an emergence of large stone flies in late May. Fish have been keying in on these large nymphs as they move towards the shore to crawl onto to the bank in the evenings to molt into winged adult stoneflies.

All though this pattern calls for a lot of materials it is relatively easy to tie. Begin by mounting the bead and placing 8 wraps of the lead wire on the hook shank, pushing it up against the bead to hold it in place. Place a drop of head cement or super glue over the lead wraps. Mount your thread behind the lead and wrap towards the bend of the hook, where you will tie in you split biot tail, wire ribbing and vinyl d-rib. Next build up a tapered thread body and cover the lead wire with thread wraps. Once your underbody is formed, tint the thread with the markers, dark on top, light on the bottom. Form the abdomen by wrapping the d-rib forward with tight touching wraps stretching the material slightly as you wrap it. Tie it off at the start of the lead wire. If you wrap it with the flat side of the material against the hook shank you will get a nice segmented appearance. Next, wind the black wire rib forward allowing the wire to fill the grooves between the d-rib. For the thorax apply dubbing to the thread and dub half of the remaining space on the hook shank behind the bead. On top of the hook shank tie in one of the wing case feathers. Apply additional dubbing to the thread and dub right up to the bead. Next tie in the final wing case feather and tie in the rubber legs on each side of the fly. Apply a small amount of dubbing to cover your thread wraps and whip finish and apply head cement if desired.

Stonefly Recipe:

Hook: Tiemco 200R (size 8-10)
Bead: Tungsten brown or black (3/16" for size 8)
Thread: Danville 210 denier white
Underbody: 8 wraps .30 lead wire
Tail: Goose biots (golden yellow)
Abdomen: Tapered thread underbody tinted with olive brown on top and golden yellow on bottom, covered with yellow or clear vinyl d-rib (medium)
Rib: Medium black wire
Thorax: Synthetic or natural dubbing in a golden stone color to match the natural
Wing case: Two Pheasant "church window" feather cut with a wing burner
Legs: Round rubber (solid or barred)

May 2011

Delektable Lil' Spanker

Submitted by Bart Lombardo

This month's fly of the month is a new one for me.  The name of the pattern is the Delektable Lil' Spanker.  I picked it up out of a book written by Ben Romans entitled Montana's Best Fly Fishing.  This fly has caught more fish than any other pattern I have fished this year.  It probably passed for a emerging Hendrickson Nymph but the Hendrickson's have come and gone and the fly is still producing.  Give it a try!

Spanker Recipe:

Hook: #14-18 Tiemco 5262
Thread: Brown 6/0 Danville
Tail: Eight fibers of mallard dyed woodduck gold
Rib:  Counter wrapped gold wire
Body: Six fibers of brown pheasant tail, covered in super glue (I omitted the super glue)
Thorax:  Peacock Ice Dub
Wing case/legs: Light blue dun midge flash
Hackle:  Natural gray CDC
Collar:  Dark Hare's Ear Plus dubbing

April 2011

Black-Nose Dace Bucktail

Submitted by Dave Hart

Tom Rosenbauer recommends fishing with a thin imitation of a baitfish like dace, fallfish, young whitefish or chubs. He considers the Black-Nose Dace Bucktail as one of his best. This fly was created by the legendary Catskill fly tier, Art Flick, in 1960, and was the only minnow imitation Flick used in size 12. It is especially good in calm, shallow water when fished upstream. My son, Mike, and I plan to use this fly again in April at the Pulaski River in New York. It was an excellent fly last spring for landing salmon and steelhead.

Black Nose Dace Recipe:

Hook:4X long streamer, or 3X, 6X
Thread:  Black 6/0
Tail:  Red wool yarn
Rib:  Oval silver tinsel
Body: Flat silver tinsel
Wing: White, brown and black bucktail in three distinct sections

March 2011

North Wood Black Stone

Submitted by Ron Ruskai

North Woods Stone Recipe:

Hook: TMC 200R Size 14-16
Thread: Black Uni 8/0
Tail: Goose Biots (Black Or Dark Brown)
Body: Black Uni-Stetch, or Black Dubbing or Black UTC Flash Back Tinsel - Thin Body
Wing: Short Antron Or Emerger Yarn (Gray Or White)
Bead: Red or Gold or Black (Fit To Hook Size)

With Gold Bead With Red Bead

Try using the red beads, I have found them to out fish any other color. Try these on streams with great hatches, like the South Branch of the Raritan and the Big Flat Brook.

North Woods Black Stone Fly Emerger/Dry

North Woods Emerger Recipe:

Hook: TMC 200R Size 14-16
Thread: Black Uni 8/0
Body: Black Superfine Dub Thin Body
Wing: Emerger Yarn - Gray Or Cdc In Gray A Little Longer Than The Hook

Try this fly during the afternoon sun of March or April.

February 2011

Tuxedo Nymph

Submitted by Bart Lombardo

I have only been fishing this nymph for a few seasons but it has produced well. I would categorize it as a general attractor nymph since it does not really imitate any specific food form.  The idea for the pattern came from flies like the prince nymph, I believe the contrast of the dark body and the white wings on that fly contribute to its effectiveness.  The contrasting black and white color scheme on this pattern maximizes that contrast..  I will often fish this fly as part of a team of flies employing various euro-nymphing techniques.

Tuxedo Nymph Recipe:

Hook:Standard Nymph Hook size 14 or 16
Thread:  8/0 black
Bead:Black (glass, brass or tungsten)
Tail:  Black and white barred feather fibers like teal or gadwall flank feathers, even finely barred grizzly hackle will work in a pinch
Thorax:  White ostrich herl
Abdomen:Black synthetic dubbing
Ribbing:  Small silver wire

January 2011

Double Bead Cased Caddis

Submitted by Bart Lombardo

While fishing on Montana's Gallatin River this summer I observed a large number of cased caddis with bright green bodies in this rocky, fast flowing river.  The swift current would require a very heavy pattern to reach the fish lurking in the good holding water.  Back at the cabin that evening I improvised a cased caddis pattern with the materials we had on hand.  Tungsten beads in two sizes (one just happened to be green), shaggy greenish dubbing, hen feathers and yellow wire.  This was the result.  The double beads sink this one like a stone.  The fly was an instant success and has earned a permanent place in my nymph box.

Double Bead Cased Caddis Recipe:

Hook:  2x long nymph hook ( Dai Riki 730)
Head: Chartreuse tungsten (one size smaller than bead used in thorax) 
Thorax:  Black tungsten bead
Underbody:  025 lead wire
Ribbing:  Brassie sized yellow wire
Abdomen (case): Synthetic peacock dubbing
Collar:  Mottled brown hen feather